Performances of the provocative play, about a married man who falls in love with a goat, continue to May 23 (previews began April 2). By turns comic and dramatic, the play has had audiences talking about the work's larger point — the nature of unconditional love?, the limits of tolerance?, the animal nature of man?, loyalty in love and friendship?
Now that the play is getting a regional life, the debate widens, and it's sure to provoke conservative theatregoers.
The Goat won the major awards when it was presented on Broadway in 2001-02: the Tony, New York Drama Critics Circle, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle.
In the play, "Martin — a wildly successful architect who has just turned 50 — leads an ostensibly ideal life with his loving wife, Stevie, and gay teenage son, Billy," according to production notes. "But when Martin confides to his best friend that he is also in love with a goat named Sylvia, he sets in motion events that will test the limits of tolerance and forgiveness."
According to TheaterWorks, "It's been described as an exploration of the power of hidden desire, obsessive love, and repressed sexuality. Although bestiality (unseen) might be considered a central component of the play, to say that The Goat is about bestiality is akin to saying that Romeo and Juliet is about teenage sex. Albee himself has said the play is meant to test 'the limits of our tolerance,' though it's also been said that the play, in fact, tests the limits of our empathy." The cast includes Malachy Cleary as Martin, Leslie Denniston as his wife Stevie, Zack Griffiths as son Billy, and Ted Pejovich as Martin's best friend, Ross. The play is directed by TheaterWorks' associate artistic director, Rob Ruggiero.
Designers are Adrian Jones (set); John Lasiter (lighting); Katherine Hampton Nolan (costume) and J. Hagenbuckle (sound).
Tickets are $35, except Friday and Saturday evenings, which are $45.
TheaterWorks is at 233 Pearl Street in downtown Hartford. For information and reservations call TheaterWorks at (860) 527-7838.